Built Environment Courses

Exterior of Bruininks Hall

Real Estate and Facility Management

These courses are ideal for anyone who holds or is interested in pursuing a position like facility manager, asset manager, project coordinator, design and relocation coordinator, space planner, systems or operations manager, industrial systems coordinator, facility engineer, owner’s or project representative, energy services coordinator, maintenance manager, property manager.

The courses are open to anyone, even if you are not pursuing a degree at the University of Minnesota. They offer instruction in the management of physical structures, the building user experience, and how a building can be cost-effectively fitted and refitted.

ABUS 4211 provides an examination of different types of leases. Relevance of BOMA (Building Office and Managers Association) space standards. Understanding components of total annual and capital facility costs. Analyzing and interpreting facility financial statements and reports. Constructing facility capital and operating budgets. Illustrating GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) related to asset capitalization, and applying financial terminology when speaking to the chief financial officer.

It is recommended that students have basic accounting/finance experience. 

Offered fall 2019 and fall 2021. 2.00 units.

ABUS 4213 covers managing operation and maintenance of building systems and facility management departments. Operation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Critical spaces, fire/life safety systems, utilities. Maintenance for specific building systems. Technology and resources used to support building operations and maintenance.

Offered fall 2019 and fall 2021. 3.00 units.

Real estate development creates and alters our built environment. Working with architects, engineers, contractors, financing teams, government, and a host of consultants, real estate developers transform ideas into buildings, and with this, the spaces in which we live, work, and play. How do developers identify good and bad opportunities, and then, once committed, manage a wide group of stakeholders (often with disparate interests) to get the project completed and operating as planned? It is a challenge every step of the way, with a myriad of risks and obstacles to overcome, but with significant potential rewards. ABUS 4217 traces the development process from beginning to end, introducing foundational knowledge in project feasibility analysis and financial modeling, and integrating real-world examples via case studies and interviews with Twin Cities-based practitioners.

It is recommended that students have familiarity with finance and accounting concepts.

Offered every fall, first half. 2.o0 units.

Real estate finance, as commonly understood, is about the capital that transforms development ideas into the built form. But in ABUS 4218, we will focus on real estate finance as a dynamic and significant industry and explore the internal language, norms, and practices of financiers, ranging all the way from hedge funds seeking returns rivaling those of Wall Street, to those backing community redevelopment and affordable housing projects. It will begin with an overview of the industry and introduce common tools of finance such as pro forma, then move on to sources of finance, from hedge funds to commercial banks and community-based lenders. We will be visited by finance practitioners, including several operating in the Twin Cities, as well as their development clients. There is an entire real estate finance ecosystem to explore, and students will leave the class with an understanding of its products, sources, and roles while developing facility with its analytical tools.

It is recommended that students take ABUS 4217 prior to this course.

Offered every fall, second half. 2.00 units.

CMGT 3024W moves through the process of defining a building-related need, evaluating the existing facility, exploring design solutions, and presenting a business case for the final project. This course is constructed from the viewpoint of the facility manager, and each step of instruction and each assignment build to the final project and presentation. 

It is recommended that students have basic plan reading ability.

Offered fall 2020. 2.00 units.

CMGT 4215 covers how to assess the condition and quality of a building site, the exterior and interior of facility, and building equipment. Evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of facility operations and maintenance program. What to look for during building audits. How to write professional assessment reports. How to make useful recommendations for improvements. Value and purpose of building commissioning/recommissioning.

It is recommended that students have some experience with mechanical systems and buildings.

Offered spring 2021. 2.00 units.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

The EHS program, which is under development in 2019, is designed for professionals who currently are in, or pursuing, leadership roles in the safety professions. It focuses on the management and prevention of accidents, illnesses, fires, explosions, and other events that harm people, property, and the environment. It will also assist the student in preparing to apply for and take the examination leading to the Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST), the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) certifications issued by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and certifications issued by the International Code Council.

When the program is fully developed, it will be aligned as a track within the BASc. degree in Construction Management. These two EHS courses, however, are immediately available on a stand-alone basis.

While OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) remains the governmental regulatory agency, the responsibility for occupational safety and health of employees has evolved into an integral part of a variety of industries, including construction, health care, oil and gas extraction, and many more. CMGT 4301 provides a comprehensive understanding of environmental health and safety standards and their application to the management of workplace injury prevention and health promotion.

Prerequisite: 45 credits or consent of instructor

Offered every fall. 3.00 units

The construction industry has one of the highest morbidity and mortality rates among professions, and there is also an economic implication. Companies can reduce the risk of injuries, diseases, and death due to environmental hazards by implementing an appropriate health and safety plan. Plans must be continually reviewed to ensure they are current with new products, scientific evidence, legal parameters, and cultural changes. CMGT 4302 will review requirements and provide direction in controlling regulations related to environmental and occupational health, chemical and biological safety, hazardous materials, and other health hazards.

Prerequisite: 45 credits or consent of instructor. Some knowledge of construction
management principles is strongly recommended.

Offered every fall. 3.00 units.

Special Topics

Special topics are classes offered in seminar format on timely issues and themes in construction management. They are electives in the BASc. Construction Management program, but members of the wider construction management community are cordially invited to use them for professional development.

CMGT 4000 centers on the construction industry in all its facets. The intention is to ensure that students taking it are provided with an in-depth understanding of how the industry evolved from early times to the present day and where the industry may be heading in the future. Equipped with this knowledge, graduates will be in a better position to understand their role in whichever sector of the industry they choose to build their careers and to contribute to positive change and improvement in how the industry serves its clients. It should be emphasized that this course is neither a history of architectural or engineering design nor of construction technology, but concentrates rather on industry structure, organization, and the way it delivers its products.

Offered fall 2020. 2.00 units.

The triple constraint of time/cost/quality has often been challenged by traditional design/bid/build delivery methods. The private sector has had a unique advantage in its ability to negotiate contracts in the absence of firm bidding rules, including the extensive use of design/build delivery methods, while the public sector has been required by statute to bid to the lowest responsible bidder using design/bid/build. In an attempt to find the right balance that respects the competitive public bidding process while taking advantage of alternative project delivery strategies, the public sector has used enabling legislation to aggressively find new ways to contract project delivery, improving quality, speed of delivery, and cost management while reducing risk. CMGT 4001 will explore the methods of innovative contracting used by MnDOT and their underlying strategies, techniques, metrics, and outcomes, using a case study approach.

Offered fall 2019 and fall 2021. 1.00 unit.

For 5,000 years we have used hand drawings to communicate ideas and methodologies, from Egyptian hieroglyphs to computer technology. Building information modeling (BIM) computer models act as simulators, analyzing architectural programs, materials, energy usage, constructability, construction sequencing, and more, down to tens of micrometers. For example, metal units can be fabricated directly from 3D models; material quantities can be extracted from modeled objects and tied to cost early in the design process; coordinated models can be visualized by project teams, clarifying scope and providing a vehicle for communication. Although CMGT 4003 is not a technical training in BIM, it will help you understand how BIM might shape your future as a construction manager and guide you in applying techniques to manage the BIM process within your projects.

Prerequisite: None. However, if you have no prior experience with construction, we recommend CMGT 3001W Intro to Construction and CMGT 4021 Construction Planning and Scheduling for knowledge of industry project delivery.

Offered fall 2019 and fall 2021. 1.00 unit.

CMGT 4550 provides an introduction to lean principles and how they can be applied to the design and construction industry

Prerequisite: None; however, planning and scheduling coursework or experience is recommended.

Offered spring 2021. 1.00 unit.

Students will tour buildings located on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. CMGT 4550 will be a primary field-based lab. Students will be asked to play any of number roles such as that of architect, owner, facility manager, construction manager, or building inspector as they tour a different building each week, conducting mock inspections of existing building as well as building projects under construction. Emphasis will be placed on the students' ability to evaluate building code topics pertaining to occupancy groups, construction types, height and area, accessible features, means of egress, and fire protection systems.

Offered spring 2021. 1.00 unit.

Skill Building

These two courses are electives in the BASc. Construction Management program, but they can also be useful to many members of the wider construction management community for professional development.

CMGT 4073 covers building codes history, foundation, structure, and organization. Importance to the built environment throughout building life cycle: design, construction, occupancy, demolition. Code compliance and role of building code official. Interpretation and application to specific scenarios. Recognizing and correcting code deficiencies.

Prerequisite: 45 credits or instructor consent

Offered every spring and fall. 1.00 unit.

CMGT 4081 covers best management practices relating to supervision or direction of construction site operations. Grading, culvert replacement, bridge construction, incorporating permit requirements, sample specifications, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Management practices to reduce or control erosion/sedimentation.

Prerequisite: 3011 or related experience

Offered every spring. 1.00 unit.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

All of these courses are open to the public. If you are not admitted to a University program, you can register as a nondegree student in five easy steps. If you are currently a U of M student, you can register in the usual way.

Questions about the courses or registration? Contact the Construction Management advisor Megan Seltz at seltz001@umn.edu.